le beat: January 2015

Hello Bellingham, and happy new year! Raleigh Davis here to start the year off right with your first 2015 helping of Le Beat! This year is looking bright as we already have a heaping pile of releases, shows, tours and much much more on the horizon and it’s only looking to get crazier as the year goes on (the What’s Up! grand birthday bash is looming ever closer). Let’s dive in and see some of the awesome things that January has in store!



The instrumental metal-heads in Thieves of Eden have released a new album! Recorded at Bellingham’s own Endemic Records, the new released entitled The Build Up To Nothing offers eight tracks of blistering, sludgy metal that is by far the Thieves best work to date! If you’re the kind of person that enjoys the banging of heads then don’t hesitate to give this album a listen… and do yourself a favor and catch one of their awesome live performances!

Bellingham’s favorite fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammal Manatee Commune has seen fit to grace us with a hot new track. In collaboration with Susy Sun, a classically trained pianist and singer/songwriter from the Pacific Northwest, the Commune has released a cover/remix of the popular song by The Kooks, “Bad Habit”. All the vocals and instrumentation were recreated and recorded originally for this cover, which they are hoping elevates this version to have a life all its own. You can check it out on Manatee Commune’s soundcloud page.

In other instrumental news, crazy-shredding prog-rockers Cellars and Attics recently announced that they will soon be releasing some juicy demos to sate our ear appetites. Cellars and Attics is by far one of my favorite new bands in the Bellingham scene, they’ve been on hiatus for quite a bit searching for a new bass player but I am extremely happy to see that they have a complete line-up once again and are looking to make some waves! Definitely some of the most inventive stuff out there and deserves to be seen in person, so make sure you catch one of their shows while you wait for the tunes to drop… A little birdy told me that they were playing an awesome all instrumental bill at The Shakedown, Jan. 22, featuring the outstandingly talented Cadence and I Will Fight With Lions. Hurry up with those demos Cellars! You have at least one Attic waiting patiently for his fix.

Have you checked out the new Bellingham Soundcheck yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! This time around we got the wunderkind in City Hall to play for us in a kitchen in the Lettered Streets. It takes a talented group of musicians to transform their songs into different forms and the City Hall boys almost make it look too easy, playing a 6-song set of acoustic renditions featuring some of the best tracks off of their EP as well as two fresh unreleased songs! It’s no secret that I think City Hall is one the best bands around and I’m happy to see that they are still staying active even with Luke’s departure to Portland, talk about dedication! As if that wasn’t enough, Noise Toys was released just prior to press time!



The dreamy pop-rock duo Vacationeer have the distinct pleasure of hitting the road this January! Starting Jan. 8 the dudes are jumping on the tour train with fellow rockers The Hague and Sun Valley Gun Club which should prove to be an extremely entertaining bill. The tour is stopping by Seattle, Portland and Olympia, but never fear Bellingham! The boys will be back in town Jan. 10 to show Bellingham some love at the legendary Kame House. Good luck on the road Vacationeer!



The Idiom Theater is hosting their insane 48-Hour Theater Festival once again! The fond tradition in which six writers create scripts overnight and perform them in front of an audience the next evening. How it works is simple: a theme is drawn Friday and six teams have to write a 10-minute script overnight. The script is then delivered to the director and actors who only have till the evening to put it all together and make it ready for audience consumption. The first night’s audience picks the theme for the second night and the crazy cycle starts anew! There will be two nights with two performances a night on Jan. 3-4 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Word on the street is that the first showing on Jan. 3 will be free thanks to the courtesy of the Law Office of Aaron Lukoff… Otherwise tickets will be $10 online and $12 at the door. Sounds like a crazy night that needs to be seen to be believed!

Have you signed up for a membership at the Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center yet? Just $25 a month gets you into every show for a month. EVERY FLIPPING SHOW! January’s shows will include a horn player that’s been called Charlie Parker reincarnate (Aaron Johnson on Jan. 14) while on Feb. 4, saxophonist Seamus Blake and pianist Geoffrey Keezer will be gracing the stage – both of those shows will be at least $25 a pop down in Seattle… and you can have the entire month’s worth of shows, every Wednesday plus high school combos on Mondays, for only 25 bones. That’s ridiculous… you want good music in town, you’ve got it – now support it. For more info, check out wjmac.org.

All 90s fans, your prayers have been answered! The Wild Buffalo have heard your cries and have decided to make 90’s Night a weekly occasion every Wednesday. Their tag-line is “Everything from Weezer to Wu-Tang” and DJ Boombox Kid will be there to cater to your 90’s needs. To celebrate the first night (Wednesday, Jan. 7) the Buff is giving out wristbands to everyone who RSVP’s on their facebook event which grants you half-off their regular prices all night. Cover is only $2 and always free with a student ID. The event is 21+ and music starts at 9:30.

With that, Blessed Coasts’s Wild Out Wednesdays has moved over to the Underground after a six-year run at the Wild Buffalo. So you can check out Ryan I and crew over there!

Olio Media Group invites you to a night of local music, visual poetry, live art and much more at their Art Show Masquerade Ball. The formal attire event (black, white, silver and gold will be the colors for the evening) will take place on Jan. 31 at the Whatcom Museum. The event will include creative works from artists such as Thayne Yazzie, Jaya Laugharn, Asha Bastis and many more featuring illustrations, charcoal drawings, sculptures, and acrylic painting. There will also be many vendors to enjoy like henna tattoos! The event will be $5 and is open for all ages to enjoy.

Bellingham it is time to rejoice! For BOOMuary is upon once again. Boomer’s Drive-In epic anniversary sale is a yearly treat that we all get to look forward to. The sale is straight forward but oh so delicious. $2.99. Every burger on the menu (yes, even the fancy ones). Does it get any better than that? I suggest making new holes in your belts now in preparation.



Some local house shows are putting on some of the coolest bills around. The very awesome Kame House is throwing a night of awesome, loud, in your face rock muzak Wednesday, Jan. 7. The bill features Wuv (coming all the way from Albany, California), Dryland (who win the Raleigh Davis award for most face meltingly awesome new band I’ve seen play lately), and the fresh-faced punk group Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. You’ll have to do a little internet sleuthing for the exact location of this one… but trust me. Your hard work will be rewarded.

HOLD ON TO YA BUTTS! Because the mind blowing, heavy as hell Helms Alee is gracing Bellingham with their presence Jan. 18 at The Shakedown. The cherry on top is that radically aggressive metal post-whatever band Grenades will be there to warm everyone up for the main event. Tickets are $7, doors at 8 p.m., and music at 9 p.m.. Be there or miss what may very well be the heaviest night in January.

The Wild Buffalo has best night for hip-hop in January on lock. Entertainment groups ReignCity and Buildstrong have teamed up to bring rap heroes Aesop Rock (with Rob Sonic and DJ Abilities in tow) to Bellingham Jan. 23. The night looks to be jam-packed with great music as Homeboy Sandman and Dark Time Sunshine will be opening the evening. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 day of, and the event is 21+. Doors open at 8 p.m. Make your plans early because I have a hard time believing this isn’t going to be packed!

Well that’s all for this month! As always there is an insane amount of stuff going on that we couldn’t squeeze into this little column, so grab your mag, get educated, and get out there and support Bellingham’s local scene! Have a great month Bellingham, see ya next time!

–Raleigh Davis